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Tomato Basil Soup

1 can (16-oz.) chopped tomatoes, drained, or 8 ripe plum tomatoes
1 medium onion, chopped
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 cups fat free or lowfat milk
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil or 1 tsp. dried basil
1 pinch ground red pepper
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Fresh basil leaves, optional

If using ripe tomatoes, blanch the ripe tomatoes in a large pot of boiling water for 10 seconds. Transfer to colander; cool slightly. Peel off skin. Cut tomatoes in half; remove seeds and chop. In a medium saucepan cook the onion in olive oil over medium heat, stirring frequently, until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute longer. Add the chopped tomatoes. Cook uncovered over medium heat for 20 minutes. (If using canned tomatoes, decrease cooking time to 10 minutes.) Spoon 3/4 of mixture into food processor or blender container; puree until smooth. Return to saucepan. Add milk, basil, and red pepper to the soup. Heat until hot, but do not boil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Divide the soup into two warm bowls and serve immediately. Garnish with fresh basil leaves, if desired. Makes 2 servings.

 


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